EXCLUSIVE: The Pioneer Woman on Her New Party Line, Her Favorite Casserole Recipe, and More
Ree Drummond wants you to have your best summer ever. In just the last couple of months she’s opened up a scoop shop in her hometown (where there are two different kinds of coffee ice cream!), launched a new line of BBQ sauces and salad dressings, and now she’s helping you put it all together with her new line of party supplies exclusively sold at Walmart.
The new line is called “Celebrations,” and it has everything you might need to throw a party on a budget this summer. The line includes 30 different pieces, like paper plates, cake stands, and plenty of party decorations (my favorite has to be the candle holder that looks like a basset hound, because of course). Everything in the line is less than $15.
We had the opportunity to talk to Ree about the idea behind her new line, her favorite birthday cake, and the party appetizer she’s eating all summer.
Ree! Tell us about your new party line.
I created the line because I love a good party. I have a lot of occasions in my life to celebrate — birthdays, graduations — especially with four kids. And this line really reflects the things I love. Anyone who knows my dinnerware collection at Walmart knows I love florals and bright, happy colors, so you’ll see plenty of that in the Celebrations line. I also drew inspiration from birthday cakes, which you’ll see as an illustration on various pieces.
I love the line because it’s a mix of reusable items, with the platters and cake stands, which can be used again and again. And of course just the colors and the message that it sends. It makes me feel happy. That’s what parties are all about for me — being with your friends and having a great time.
What’s your favorite birthday cake?
My son Todd just turned 15 and we had the go-to Drummond cake, which is a chocolate sheet cake. We change up the topping based on who it’s for. For my father-in-law we top with chopped roasted pecans, and for Todd I used M&Ms. The great thing about it is that you can cut the sheet cake in half and make a layer cake or keep it in sheet form — you can do two layers or four layers.
What’s the best birthday gift you’ve ever received?
I was recently telling someone that my love language is “not gifts.” When I think of birthdays, I think of what we did together as a family. I think of the party, the celebrations — I never remember gifts. Is that bad? Birthdays are really about the person and spending time together.
What’s in your wine glass this summer?
I’m kind of kicking it old-school and doing white wine spritzers like my mom did in the ’70s. Sauvignon Blanc with some cold, cold seltzer or soda water and a pretty lime and I’m a happy woman.
What’s your all-time favorite casserole recipe?
Chicken spaghetti — it was my mom’s recipe. It goes down in history as the only casserole my husband actually loves and asks for. I can make it for parties, I can make it for potlucks — it always disappears no matter how much I make. It’s a winner, winner chicken dinner.
What’s the best host gift to bring to a party?
You can take just about anything, I think. But I always like to include a pretty dish cloth or towel. If I’m bringing a bottle of wine, I’ll pack it in a little basket with a red gingham kitchen towel. It’s something that softens it up. Or if I give a candle, I’ll wrap it in a flour sack with twine. It makes a store-bought gift look homemade.
Favorite snack right now?
Pimento cheese. I find new ways to enjoy it every day. I’ll have it on a cracker, and the next day it’ll be spread on olives, and the next day I’ll melt it on crostini. I also love to get those bags of mini peppers and cut them in half and fill them with pimento cheese. I like making my own pimento cheese — having it in the fridge makes me feel like all is right in the world.
What’s on your party platter this summer?
Summer party food makes me so happy. One of the things I’m obsessed with —and this is going to be in my new cookbook — are little crostini with ricotta and balsamic blueberries. You basically stir balsamic with a little brown sugar and blueberries, toast crostini in a cast iron skillet with some butter, spread some creamy ricotta on top of the bread, and add the blueberries. I also like caprese salad in any form, and grilled vegetables.
What’s on your summer eating bucket list?
Last summer I actually ordered two whole lobsters from a place in Maine, because I never really do anything like that, and we obviously don’t have a lot of lobster in Oklahoma. So I think I want to try that again with a small group of people. I want to scale it up and have with some fun with a lobster boil and do corn on the cob and potatoes and things like that.
Also, lots of pimento cheese. And anything else that crosses my path. I’m ready.
Thanks so much for talking, Ree!